A Quick Look at Two Tension Rope System and a Dynamic Directional Offset using Two Artificial High Directionals

Written By: Lance Piatt

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The Purpose (Vision)

We have always encouraged experimentation and creativity when learning.  I do my best to take the advice of people I respect.  The other day I sat in the studio thinking about some unused space we have and decided to build a test piece… a small slot canyon where a hiker needed to be removed.  The person fell and was conscious and responsive, but had no way of getting out. Keep it simple, but with broad tangibility.

The Goal or Strategy

Nothing medically wrong… just stuck.  The only real “emergency” I gave myself was one of immediacy due to a lack of daylight and impending colder temperatures.  So… time was critical. The system(s) I wanted to practice needed to be done with minimal people, high points for edge mitigation and a single person load.  My edges were suspect, so keeping the systems and people (me) away from the edge was important.

Now, understanding this setup was a “canyon”, I also understand this can happen “roadside”, so I made this clear on my script, so I chose easier gear options for myself.  The cache was close and I wasn’t super limited in gear (but again, it needed to be super clean and fast), so  I choose gear that would allow me to practice and then scale back after I worked out the kinks.

Also… I would be remiss to say that since this is a practicum for me, I chose to create AHDs (artificial high directionals) with some character.  This scenario is the first of two I built.  In the second option, I created a connective front guy between these same two AHDs.  This “alternative solution” will be discussed later this month or early next month.

Gear and Tools
The Layout or Tactics

I won’t go deep into my process because honestly I am still trying to figure it out.  But essentially I needed a vertical raise straight out of the hole, but had to keep the AHDs away from the edges as the edges were suspect.  I understand (in general principle) that my guy planes and applied force angles had to meet a certain minimum criteria to properly work.  This wasn’t the easiest thing for me to get initially as it ultimately required me to change the leg configurations of the A Frame.  But once I got it (more or less) configured, I was ready to move on.  Here is how I looked at things.

  1. Determine the scope of the evolution (rescue or scenario).
    1. Type of evolution
    2. Type of AHDs needed
  2. Get the AHDs sighted based on the patient and where the exit will be
    1. Determine where the configuration will be placed (where the AHD heads will be)
    2. Determine the guying systems
  3. Get the Anchors prepped and ready
    1. Guying
    2. Raise and Lowering Systems
  4. Determine the systems configured for each AHD
  5. Safety and Check the systems
  6. Begin the evolution and make sure nothing has shifted
  7. Continue running the system and monitor it continuously

This was my system and there are many out there.  It is my intent to bring you a number of opinions and let the dust settle where it may.  And yes… I would alter my “script” as I found a few oversights in it.

The Follow Up

When everything was said and done, the systems were solid.  I checked and double checked the angles of both the A Frame and the opposite Monopod/gin pole.  I was a bit taken back that my angles needed to be “pushed” as far as they were, but they worked perfectly.

The In-line 9 mechanical advantage systems (using 2x Petzl Jags with Petzl Tiblocs) performed amazing.  I had to remind myself that system needs to be performed and monitored by a single person, so it needs to be mirrored and simple… it doesn’t get much simpler.

The dynamic directional from the “far side” exceeded my expectations and my ability to place the patient exactly where I wanted him was a breeze.

Looking forward to bringing you the second half of this “expression session”.


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